THE Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Friday said 1,546 local government units (LGUs) across the country have declared the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF) as persona non grata in their respective localities.
Out of the 1,715 LGUs nationwide, DILG Secretary Eduardo M. Año said that 1,546 — 64 provinces, 110 cities, and 1,372 municipalities — have passed resolutions declaring the Communist Terrorist Groups (CTGs) as persona non grata in their respective areas. The remaining 169 LGUs, he said, are in various stages of deliberation in their respective provincial, city, and municipal councils.
In addition, some 12,474 barangays nationwide have also declared the CPP-NPA-NDF as persona non grata.
“Maliwanag pa sa sikat ng araw na isinusuka na ng sambayanan ang CPP-NPA-NDF at ang mga front organizations nito. Nagpapasalamat kami sa mga LGUs na nagsasarado ng kanilang pintuan sa mga CTGs at ipinapakita ang kanilang mariing pagtutol sa mga Komunistang Teroristang Grupo,” said Año.
Año congratulated the LGUs for “stepping up, helping the national government, and letting themselves be counted among the growing number of local governments that want the reign of terror of the CTGs in the countryside to end after more than 50 years.”
“Much like the battle against the COVID-19 pandemic, we need to finally end this very old problem using a whole-of-nation approach, and the support from our LGUs gives us great assurance that we are not alone in this war against these atheists, Maoists terrorists,” he said.
Año considers the support of LGUs as a turning point in the battle against the Communist Terrorist because the government has since shifted from the military-centric approach but is now utilizing the whole-of-society approach where all government agencies from national to LGUs including the private sector work together to bring peace to the countryside.
“Under the umbrella of NTF-ELCAC chaired by the President himself, we have organized inter-agency local ELCAC task forces with 17 Regional Task Forces, 81 Provincial Task Forces, 1,405 City, and Municipal Task Forces, and 26,044 Barangay Task Forces,” he said.
He explains that the support from the LGUs is timely especially as the country faces the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, wherein more people in far-flung communities are more vulnerable to recruitment by the CPP-NPA-NDF.
“Kailangan talagang magkaisa na tayo laban sa CPP-NPA-NDF dahil wala silang pinipiling panahon para makapanlinlang at mabuyo ang mga mamamayan na makianib sa kanila at mag-aklas laban sa pamahalaan,” said Año.
Based on DILG records, among the 17 regions nationwide, six regions have reached a 100 percent declaration of persona non grata to the CPP-NPA-NDF, namely Central Luzon, Central Visayas, Zamboanga Peninsula, MIMAROPA, and Cordillera Administrative Region.
Meanwhile, four regions are nearing absolute declaration of persona non grata. These are Ilocos Region (99 percent declaration), Cagayan Valley (98%), Northern Mindanao (95 %) and CALABARZON (94 %).
Oit of the 16 cities and one municipality in the National Capital Region, nine cities have passed resolutions condemning the atrocities of CTGs and declared the CPP-NPA-NDF as persona non grata. These are Caloocan, Las Piñas, Mandaluyong, Muntinlupa, Navotas, Pasig, Quezon, San Juan, and Valenzuela.
Año said the DILG is positive that the number of LGUs declaring CPP-NPA-NDF as persona non grata will continue to rise come next year.
“The DILG is looking forward to seeing more LGUs join us in this fight against communist terrorism. We cannot allow these groups to continue killing people, the time has come to finally put an end to their wicked ways,” he added.